Facebook: More than social networking for at-risk students

Mee Wah Eugenia NG, C. H. Hugo WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


Facebook is one of the most popular online social network sites. Almost every young person now has a Facebook account. One of the authors is the class tutor for a cohort of Year 2 students at a youth college in Hong Kong. The students were not only low academic achievers but also had problems with emotional and behavioral disorders (EDB). One of the challenges in teaching EDB students is to motivate them to attend school. This study explored whether using Facebook to create a learning community can help motivate EDB students to attend and, in particular, to participate in different school activities. A total of 27 students, aged 16-18, participated voluntarily in the study. Although communication mainly focused on daily routines, the Facebook group provided an invaluable avenue for students to ask questions, encourage each other, and maintain friendships. The teacher posted a total of 74 messages, which students “Liked” 212 times and posted 348 replies. Eight private messages were also received across the semester. At the end of the semester, most of the students agreed Facebook was one of the best ways to enhance communication. The positive interaction not only kept all the students in class, but also encouraged them to attend more seriously to their tasks. They continued to use Facebook to interact even after the semester had ended, further demonstrating its value. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


Ng, E. M. W., & Wong, H. C. H. (2013). Facebook: More than social networking for at-risk students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 73, 22-29.


  • Facebook
  • At-risk students
  • Learning community


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